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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 07 2012

Deacon double play: Siblings both prep for Class A tourney


Dave Jacobson says he’s usually the first one out in a family game of H-O-R-S-E, but his admission also comes with a viable excuse: this isn’t your average basketball clan, where the parents dabbled in high school basketball and the kids are few-months-of-the-year participants.

Dave’s wife was a college All-American as Pat Smykowski at North Dakota State. His son, A.J., is a junior at Fargo Shanley who is being recruited by Division I schools and his daughter, Sarah, is a rare eighth-grader playing on the Deacon varsity.

Today, Dave and Pat Jacobson get to experience a rare parental daily double: both of their kids are playing in separate state tournaments on the same weekend.

The Shanley girls play Mandan at 3 p.m. in the first round at the Bison Sports Arena and the Deacon boys play Minot at 6 p.m. at the Fargodome. The timing couldn’t have worked out better in that it appears both Jacobsons will not be playing at the same time, win or lose.

Then again, those types of conflicts “are something we’ve had to deal with all year,” Pat said.

Both parents said they will be dealing with nerves, something Pat said was easier to attack as a player.

“Because as a player, you can get in the flow of the game and settle in,” she said. “Parents are on edge the entire game.”

Part of the edginess, Dave said, is the fact both of his kids have high expectations for themselves. “Sometimes, I think a little bit unrealistically,” he said.

A.J. is averaging 24.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a season that continued to see him progress. He’s already been offered a scholarship by North Dakota State and has made campus visits to Northern Iowa and Creighton University (Neb.).

“Nothing’s changed,” he said.

Sarah is averaging 12.4 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

They’ll do their best, they said, to keep tabs on one another. A.J. will go to Sarah’s game, but “I’ll sit down and just try and keep my cool,” he said.

Sarah will head over to the dome after he game, “hopefully with a ‘W’ and go cheer him on,” she said.

Both Dave and Pat played basketball at Lidgerwood High School in southeast North Dakota. Dave said he sees the competiveness of their mother in his kids.

“That’s true, I don’t like to lose,” Sarah said.

“That’s just the way she played,” A.J. said of Pat.

The entire family can shoot. Dave may be the first out on H-O-R-S-E, but he has the edge in consecutive free throws in practice.

He once nailed 64 in a row at Lidgerwood. Sarah’s best is 42.

“He’s pretty good,” Sarah said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia